Last November, when one of the writers at my favorite unintentional comedy website Everyday Feminism published a piece arguing that eating ethic food was racist, I had just assumed that this part of insanity was isolated to “that part of the internet.”
But sometimes the internet bleeds into real life, and what better place to happen than at Oberlin College, one of the most liberal colleges in the US.
As the New York Times reported:
Another article, published by The Review in November, detailed what students said were instances of cultural appropriation carried out by Bon Appétit. The culinary culprits included a soggy, pulled-pork-and-coleslaw sandwich that tried to pass itself off as a traditional Vietnamese banh mi sandwich; a Chinese General Tso’s chicken dish made with steamed instead of fried poultry; and some poorly prepared Japanese sushi.
“When you’re cooking a country’s dish for other people, including ones who have never tried the original dish before, you’re also representing the meaning of the dish as well as its culture,” Tomoyo Joshi, a student from Japan, told the paper. “So if people not from that heritage take food, modify it and serve it as ‘authentic,’ it is appropriative.”
Here’s the video:
I’m sure some of the readers aren’t even sure what “cultural appropriation” is. Briefly defined, cultural appropriation is “the adoption or use of elements of one culture by members of a different culture.” Why this is a bad thing remains a mystery.
And if we can’t eat food from other cultures, wouldn’t that put nearly every single restaurant out of business? That certainly would hurt plenty of minorities, which I can’t imagine any progressive would want.
Maybe students at Oberlin should spend more time worrying about the $64,000 a year they spend on tuition every year.
What do you think? Is it racist to cook foods from other cultures? Let us know in the comments!